It’s here, it’s here, Ramadan is HERE :D

It’s my favourite time of the year. Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar where Muslims all around the world fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam; fasting, sawm in arabic.

Each year it comes and goes within a blink of an eye. Each year I set some goals to achieve during Ramadan and rarely have I successfully completed it. Last year was the worst, as I was jobless at home, so I pretty much slept the entire month and meddled in random stuff that took away the essence of Ramadan. This year I’ve come to realize that I’ve been doing it wrong all these years. I’d only focused on trying to be as ‘good’ of a Muslim I can be during this ONE month. However, the point of Ramadan isn’t to be good for 30 days and then go back to being devils for the remaining 11 months. It is to re-evaluate and revamp yourself by getting rid of bad habits and gaining good ones. It’s a chance for you to re-kindle the spiritual relationship with God and reconnect with family and friends.

On a daily basis we spend so much time thinking about/preparing and eating food. Take away the chore of ingesting meals and you are left with an abundance of time that can be spent elsewhere. You starve your stomach to feed your soul and heart with spiritual samosas. It also makes you realize how fortune you are to have the capability to feed yourself 3 times a day when there are million others around the world that barely have 1 meal a day. When you feel the hunger pangs you appease your stomach by reminding it to just wait a few more hours for dusk. However for the unfortunate ones, even the arrival of dusk won’t put an end to their stomach’s anguish. This is where another one of the five pillars come into play: Zakat (charity). Muslims are required to give a certain percentage of their savings towards charities to help those that are a lot less fortunate. This collection is done throughout the year, but more so during Ramadan by the Mosques and then dispersed across various charity organizations.

To brush up on the importance of Ramadan I watched this video by Sheikh Nouman Ali Khan and here are some facts that I was reminded of :

The Muslim’s holy book, Quran was revealed during this month and in it there is only ONE verse that advises the followers of Islam to fast during the month of Ramadan. One of main purpose of fasting is to gain Taqwa (god consciousness), which is mentioned over 200 times in the Quran. So the month of fasting is to train your heart to win over your body; to put aside the physical needs of your body to tend to the spiritual needs of the heart and soul. The best way to attain Taqwa is through the Quran itself as its whole purpose is to guide us in this world and lead us into the hearafter.  During this month, Muslims re-establish their relationship with the Quran. Through recitation and in depth analysis of the Quran believers attain taqwa, which provides them the guidance and eases the hardships endured in this world in order to reach the best of places in the world waiting for us.

I prepared way ahead of time this year; printed the time table and posted it onto my cubicle, sent an email to my manager explaining the importance of this month and requesting specific accommodations, made a list of goals I want to achieve during this Ramadan and also made a prayer list. I’ve been waiting for this month for so many reasons and I’m psyched that it’s finally here : D. Allhamdullilah (praise be to God) it’s already off to a good start!

Ramadan Kareem to one and all the Muslims around the world : )